Prunus sargentii
Common Name: Sargent cherry 
Type: Tree
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Japan, Korea, Russia
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. Somewhat intolerant of high heat and humidity, and generally does not grow well south of USDA Zone 7.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Prunus sargentii, commonly called Sargent cherry or North Japanese hill cherry, is a graceful ornamental flowering cherry tree that typically grows 20-30’ (less frequently to 45’) tall with a dense, broad-rounded crown. It is native to Japan and Korea. It is perhaps most noted for its profuse spring bloom, attractive summer foliage, fall color and shiny reddish-brown bark. Pink flowers in 2- to 4-flowered clusters (sessile umbels) appear before the foliage in spring. Flowers are followed by small, glossy dark purple-black cherries (drupes to 1/3” diameter) which ripen in early summer. Fruits are bitter and inedible fresh off the tree. Elliptic to oblong, glossy dark green leaves (to 5” long) with acuminate tips and serrate margins emerge in spring with a bronze tint. Foliage turns attractive shades of red in fall. Fastigiate and columnar forms are available in commerce.

Genus name from Latin means plum or cherry tree.

Specific epithet honors Charles S. Sargent (1841-1927), first director of the Arnold Arboretum.


Cherries are susceptible to a large number of insect and disease pests. Potential diseases include leaf spot, die back, leaf curl, powdery mildew, root rot and fireblight. Potential insects include aphids, scale, borers, leafhoppers, caterpillars, tent caterpillars and Japanese beetles. Spider mites may also be troublesome. Foliage may scorch in full sun in hot summer conditions. Sargent cherry has good resistance to most pests.


Excellent tree for lawns or streets. Specimen or group. Small shade tree.